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Why Domino’s new ads are good for the market research industry

The new Domino's ads break down negative conceptions about the research industry. This article describes how the content of Domino's ads are good for the market research industry.

I love Domino's new ads as both a consumer and someone who works in the market research industry. And before research purists jump down my throat, I know that Domino's new Focus group centric ads seem to show a single focus group, that the information used is merely directional and we'd like to assume that this research is probably part of a bigger study or perhaps even faked for the purposes of the advertising. And I know it raises obvious questions about respondent confidentiality. I also don't know what other techniques were used, nor do I really care that much. What I do care about is the impact of the ads on the "brand" of the industry.

In recent years the industry has come under fire and mocked continuously on televisions (see the office's brilliant customer satisfaction scores episode), so I am excited to see a positive portrayal of what we do and how company's use information to better serve their customers.

In addition to the fact that Domino's has done an excellent job being self-deprecating and recognizing consumer perceptions about their quality, I believe the ads break down three basic negative conceptions of the research industry.

  1. Corporate beliefs that market research isn't actionable
  2. Consumer beliefs that they aren't being listened to (and think people don't want to participate)
  3. Traditional techniques don't work as well as listening to social media and using interactive questions

The video below shows how they have adopted the findings at the highest levels.

What it means for Domino's
Coming off of last year's social media disaster, that painted them as unknowing and unhealthy, Domino's ads are sending a message that says "We hear what people have been saying and we've dealt with it. Now give us a try, you might like us more than you think." I know that they have at least re-entered my consideration set, the first step to becoming a customer and potentially (with some free bread sticks, perhaps) an advocate. As was often muttered in Bill Murray's great 1991 movie "What About Bob?" Domino's is taking baby steps.


- January 2010

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